How to get the most practical benefit out of the Functional Nutrition Intake Form
Posted by Andrea Nakayama
Every year, I update the Functional Nutrition Intake Form. It’s the health history questionnaire that the nutritionists in my own clinic at the Functional Nutrition Alliance use every day to help people with complex symptoms and diagnoses, many of which have stumped other practitioners…even their functional MDs!
Once you start to work with this Intake Form, you’ll realize how useful it is to uncover underlying causes of your clients’ issues.
You’ll be able to see things other clinicians have missed, and help people who may have been searching for years to find relief.
But these benefits only come if you know the secrets to using it.
So let’s dive in with a pop quiz!
A new client comes to see you. She was referred by another client of yours, who said your approach is what helped her finally feel better.
You’re thrilled. Plus, you have this new Intake Form!
After your new client fills it the Intake Form, what do you do?
- Search the Intake Form for her diagnosis and spend the night before your session researching everything you can about that condition
- Prepare to tell the client or patient everything you know about what’s causing their signs and symptoms (heavy metals, mold, SNPs, sleep dysfunction, gut dysbiosis, etc.)
- Identify the client’s biggest symptoms and outline the diet and supplement protocol that will resolve them immediately
- Head to PubMed to look at the most recent research regarding any signs, symptoms or diagnoses listed on the Intake Form
- Imagine what it would be like to be in her shoes so that you can create trust and rapport with this new client
Which answer did you choose?
Did you resonate with one of the choices more than the others?
Was it difficult to figure out which one is the next best step?
Do you think it might be all of the above?
Actually, it’s NONE of the above!
If you picked any of the options I outlined, you’re not alone.
Each one describes what I call an IQ Trap that so many clinicians fall into, and that I’ve made it my mission to help you step out of!
They’re IQ Traps because they only ensnare intelligent, hardworking practitioners who care.
If that’s you, then read on to learn a KEY element to avoiding the traps that tempt you in the future, and learn how to get the most BANG out of your Intake Form.
Here’s the secret
The information you gather from an Intake Form, even the BEST intake form, is true but partial.
There are key elements in your client’s life that you cannot capture in an Intake Form.
These elements require a person.
A Functional practitioner who knows how to see beyond the data on the printed page.
The good news is that you can be that Functional practitioner, using the Intake Form to help people who may have been searching for years to feel better.
The secret is two-fold:
- Slow down. Let your initial session be all about gathering information. Don’t jump to recommendations too fast. I know you want to help, (really, I get it), but you’ll be more helpful if you ask more questions before you start telling your client what they need to do. Seriously, you hardly know them yet!
- Ask the right questions. Not any old question will do. This part can be tricky, and I often hear the “Aaaahhh!” from my students the moment they really get how to formulate a truly Functional question. But there are some that I can give you today! (Keep reading.)
My Top Functional questions to get you started!
Before you read the following questions, remember secret #1 from above—slow down.
Read these questions slowly.
Imagine asking your client each one.
And then pausing…
Letting her think deeply about the answer.
If you work in this way, you’ll be amazed at what you uncover.
Top 3 Functional Questions to ask in your initial session:
- When did you first experience this (primary symptom)?
- How have you dealt with this concern in the past?
- Who in your family or on your team will be most supportive of you making diet and lifestyle modification?
With the Functional Nutrition Intake Form, and these 3 questions, you’re well on your way to creating the practice of your dreams.
If you’d like to see how I follow up these questions with more questions, check out my e-book, Functional Nutrition 101. (And if you already own it, it’s time to pull it out for another read. I bet your perspective has changed since you last read it.)
You’ll find 2 more initial questions in the e-book, plus my Functional secrets to knowing what to do with the answers to all 5!
EXPERIENCE A FREE TRAINING SERIES WITH ANDREA NAKAYAMA TO HELP YOU
Begin practicing functionally today!
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